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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 73502
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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Can my company force me to put whatsapp on my phone and

Customer Question

Can my company force me to put whatsapp on my phone and check messages out of hours. I don't want to use whatsapp and I am not getting paid for it.
JA: Have you discussed this with a manager or HR? Or with a lawyer?
Customer: The manager has made it clear that she says I have to use it. I have not spoken to a lawyer yet
JA: What is your employment status? Are you an employee, freelancer, consultant or contractor? Do you belong to a union?
Customer: employee, no union
JA: Is there anything else the Lawyer should know before I connect you? Rest assured that they'll be able to help you.
Customer: nothing else
Submitted: 15 days ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Hello, I’m Ben. It’s my pleasure to assist you today. I may also ask for some preliminary information to help me determine the legal position.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

How long have you worked there for? Please note this is not always an instant service and I may not be able to reply immediately. However, rest assured that I am dealing with your question and will get back to you today. Thanks

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
approximately 19 months
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Many thanks for your patience, I am pleased to be able to continue assisting with your query now. The employer cannot force you, in a sense that whether you install it or not is up to you in the end. However, the issue then becomes one of hat the employer can do about it and how far they can take it if you were to refuse.

The main problem in your particular situaiotn is the fact that you have only been continuously employed at you place of work for less than 2 years. That means that your employment rights will, unfortunately, be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not have legal protection against unfair dismissal. This basically means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as the decision is not based on a reason which makes a dismissal automatically unfair. They can proceed with a dismissal even if you had done nothing wrong and also without following any specific fair procedure or proving that any of the allegations are true.

As mentioned, there are some exceptions to this, in which case the 2-year rule does not apply. These include situations where the dismissal was wholly, or partly, due to:

- Discrimination due to a protected characteristic (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.)

- Taking, or trying to take, leave for family reasons including pregnancy, maternity/paternity leave, parental leave, adoption leave or leave for dependants

However, if the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions, you would not be able to challenge it due to not meeting the minimum service criteria for claiming in the Employment Tribunal. In that case your only protection would be if you were dismissed in breach of contract. That would usually happen if you were not paid any contractual notice period due to you, unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct. That is where you were guilty of something very serious which justifies immediate dismissal, without any notice pay.

In any other circumstances, you would be due a minimum notice period, as per your contract and associated pay. If you did not have a written contract in place you would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. The employer would either have to allow you to work that notice period and pay you as normal, or they can decide to pay you in lieu of notice. That is when you are paid for the equivalent of the notice period but your employment is terminated immediately and you are not expected to work through your notice period.

In summary, you can refuse, but you could also be dismissed as a result and cannot challenge that decision.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

Hopefully, I have answered your query in a way that is simple and easy to understand. If anything remains unclear, I will be more than happy to clarify it for you. In the meantime, thank you once again for using our services.

Customer: replied 15 days ago.
thanks for the info
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 15 days ago.

You are most welcome. If you have any further questions about this then please do not hesitate to get back to me and I will be glad to help. All the best